IN extremely strong and gusty winds, that made playing precision bowls almost impossible, the Zone 11 singles championships reached the conclusion at Forster Bowling Club.
Conditions were very frustrating and any degree of finesse just went right out the door as the bowls were continually being effected by the strong wind. However the show did go on and three winners were decided.
In the first open semi-final Tony Hinton (Taree West) played Ross Logan (Tuncurry Beach). After leading 3-2 Hinton won six ends straight to open up a 16-2 lead. In a complete turnaround Logan then won the next seven ends, and the score was then 16-13. Hinton then gradually increased his lead to run out a 31-20 winner.
In the other semi Tuncurry Beach club mates Jason Aurisch and Steve Harris clashed. Harris jumped out to an early 8-0 lead, and just kept the pressure on to the end to record a 31-17 win.
In the final Hinton established an early 6-2 lead before Harris turned it around and won the next five ends to lead 9-6.
The pair traded shots and it was a slender 11-10 lead to Harris. He them claimed another four ends to make a mini break to lead 16-10. Hinton fought hard, but could just not bridge the gap, and Harris the winner at 31-20.
The senior semi-final one saw John Morton (Forster) playing Errol Ruprecht (Taree West). No-one dominated early, until Morton, leading 9-8, grabbed seven straight shots to lead 16-8. Over the next dozen ends Ruprecht fought back and scored a four to put him in the lead 24-23. Morton then did some fighting back of his own, and in a dogged contest ran out a 31-28 winner. In another battle between two Tuncurry Beach players Rex Johnston played Noel James in the second semi. Johnston jumped out to an early 6-0 lead and was never headed. James managed to get back to trail 11-15, but that was as close as he got, and Johnston powered away to win 31-17.
In the final Johnston jumped out to a 9-0 lead and just kept going from there. Morton never gave up and managed to score an occasional one or two but Johnston was just too good and powered to the line to win 31-9.
Johnston has swept all before him this year in the seniors. After previously winning the fours, triples and pairs and now the singles, he made the clean sweep and is going to be a very busy boy in the State finals at Ettalong in September.
Semi-final one of the president's reserves saw Steve Holohan (Tuncurry Beach) against John Bown (Taree Leagues). This was a seesawing affair. Bown fought back and they were level several times.
Holohan then held another narrow lead. With Holohan up 18-17, Bown scored a four to establish the biggest margin of the game. Shots were then traded and Holohan scored a three and there was just the one shot in it.
Bown then won the next for ends to win 31-23. In the next semi Tom Williams (Forster) played Jamie Carr (Wingham). Williams scored early and had established a 6-1 lead. That was when Carr started to find his range, and he really started to score consistently. He scored three fours and a bunch of two as well on the run home, and came out a comfortable 31-12 winner.
In the final the scores were quite close for a long time, until Bown managed to pull away to an 18-12 lead. Carr then went on a scoring spree. He won 13 of the last 14 ends, scoring 19 shots to 2. So after being down 12-18 he has won 31-20, an outstanding effort.
This is a reward for Carr's great consistency after being the runner-up in the zone fours and triples.
Good luck to all of our championship winners in the State finals at Ettalong